Plea deal reached in sex abuse case
by Rachel Davis
Oct 02, 2013 | 6638 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker County Circuit Judge Hoyt Elliott talks with Lonnie Ingle, at right, and defense attorney Thomas Carmichael during Wednesday’s hearing. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
Walker County Circuit Judge Hoyt Elliott talks with Lonnie Ingle, at right, and defense attorney Thomas Carmichael during Wednesday’s hearing. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
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Walker County Circuit Judge Hoyt Elliott heard a plea deal in the case of Lonnie David Ingle, 62, of Eldridge on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse and was sentenced to two, five-year sentences to run concurrently.

Under the terms of the plea, the sentences will be suspended so Ingle will serve no prison time, only probation. He will wear an electronic monitoring system that will track his movements via global satellite and he will be required to register as a sex offender. He is not to have any contact, direct or indirect, with his victims, who are now teenagers.

Ingle had been charged in 2010 with four counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, but the plea altered those indictments to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

The plea was reached by defense attorney Thomas Carmichael and Special Prosecutor Jeff Roberts of Cullman, because Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair recused himself from the case due to prior work with the family. Roberts was appointed to the case by the state’s attorney general.

When Elliott inquired about the change in charges, Roberts said he felt that getting the monitoring and registration as a sex offender justified the reduction in charges, rather than risking Ingle being acquitted in the case.

According to the plea discussion in the courtroom, the case stemmed from accusations that Ingle improperly touched the two children, who are siblings, over a period of five years.

The mother of the victims addressed the court and the defendant, as other family members and the victims themselves cried in the audience.

She said that the day marked a day of closure and healing for her family and told the judge she agreed to the plea to keep her children from having to “relive the torture” inflicted on them by the defendant.

Ingle was also charged in 2010 in Tuscaloosa with two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.